Soccer (football) is said to be one of the richest sports, and rightly so as it’s the most popular game in the world. This game generates the maximum industry share among all global sports amounting to nearly 600 billion USD!
Soccer players always have a huge demand for fans, club owners, and sponsors. They can also earn some smart money. Every soccer team, no matter if they are professional or semi-professional; has to pay their players. However, the earning depends on the proficiency and potentiality of a player. It also varies from one league to another league.
In the USA, soccer was never the number one sport that attracted the maximum viewers, yet it’s gotten much media and fan attraction in recent years. Now, USL matches get more media coverage than in earlier days. But how much money can USL players make? How much is the USL players’ salary, on a weekly or yearly basis?
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into it. Also, we’ll compare the salaries of USL League 1, USL League 2, and MLS footballers. Let’s dive in.
How much money do USL players make?
USL clubs spend bulk amounts ranging from 1 to 1.5 million USD on yearly basis for paying the salaries of the footballers. So, on an average count, a player gets 40 to 60 thousand dollars in a year. The earnings by any individual player of any given soccer team depend on how much he can influence the game for the club on the pitch or how greater his contribution is towards the overall performance of the respective team.
The amount of salary is largely factored by the players’ playing positions and how good the individual player is. In the usual sense, a forward earns a higher wage due to his greater contribution in scoring goals and making the difference, whereas a right-back or central midfielder is less paid due to their less probability of scoring. Again, the center back is another crucial position and has more scope of earning a greater salary.
How much do USL players earn a week?
When it comes to the consideration of how much money a USL player earns a week, a certain variation is observed depending on who the player is and where he plays. The weekly wage of the player earning 45,000 USD in a year is higher than the one having a yearly salary of $30,000.
Some defining factors like age, position, future potentiality, etc., determine the weekly salary of the USL players. Hence, some USL players earn $750 per week, whereas some can make $500, or even $250 in the same league. If any player has better soccer skills and special capabilities, he will surely get some edge over the others.
How much do USL players make in a year?
As per the 2022 USL Championship format, 27 clubs are competing in the tournament where more than 500 players perform. Nearly all of them earn a Five-digit salary in a year and the average yearly wage of a player in the USL range between $40,000 and $60,000. Some “Elite” players command a yearly payment of $100,000 or above. Their number is 20 or less.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the scenario got slightly changed in recent times. To tackle the worldwide economic crisis and to survive the league, the players of USL decided to take a pay cut. They officially submitted a counterproposal in May of 2020, and according to that, the players earning more than $2,000 a month would take a 10% reduction of their wages. This decision eventually kept the USL clubs afloat.
Do USL League 1 player earn?
USL League 1 is the official 3rd division football league run by USL since 2019. Currently, just 11 teams are competing here in 2022. The season starts in February and ends in November. Right now, there’s no minimum wage range for the soccer players playing in USL League 1. Some players earn a handsome figure, again some are paid less than the minimum living age of the USA.
Commonly, every club has a prospective yearly budget that is calculated considering the overall weight of the signed players by that team for that particular season. You can’t just expect any USL league 1 club coming up with as big a budget as any MLS side or any other professional independent soccer team, right? It’s because the sponsorship, media coverage, and the corporate partnership of the MLS clubs are much greater than the USL league 1.
Indeed, USL clubs don’t have any significant source of revenue-generating. Thus, the income making tends to be rest on two main factors-sponsorship contribution and ticket sales. The average salary provided to the soccer players by any USL side depends on squad depth, player impact, performance, etc. After meeting up all these requirements, a USL soccer player is expected to take a sum of 40 to 60 thousand USD to home on an average basis.
How much do League two players make?
USL League 2 is a semi-professional 3rd-tier soccer league. It’s mainly a development tournament in the USA, Canada, and Bermuda. In the current year format of 2022, 111 teams are competing in this league.
In many parts of the world, semiprofessional soccer players earn almost nothing. Some players only earn their travel, food, or accommodation money. For others who enjoy some earnings, the payment is really poor in most cases.
Considering this particular scenario of semi-pro footballers, the USL league 2 is obviously in a better state to preserve players’ rights and their income. They have a newly formed salary cap for the players of League 1 and League 2 which ensures a rough estimation of a thousand USD for each player from USL League 2. Even though, the same rule also forces the clubs not to allow spending more than a million dollars to pay the players’ yearly wages. Still, it’s pretty much better than others for sure, isn’t it?
Do USL players make money?
USL Championship is the top-tier tournament in the USA, just under the MLS. So, a smart amount of money is made in this league and the players also earn smart amounts here. The earnings of the USL players come from three distinctive ways.
The very first one is the loan method where a player gets loaned out from any MLS side to a USL team for a certain period, usually for an entire or half of any ongoing season. In such cases, a contract is placed between MLS and USL authorities. The whole deal is the subject of the combined bargaining agreement of the USL league.
The loaned-out MLS players earn higher wages than the USL footballers due to the added compensation. In the second type of arrangement, the players have a direct contract with the USL clubs and there’s no say from the CBA, unlike the MLS. Some players have a contract with the USL side despite being contract under the MLS team.
The final contract arrangement comes as an academy contract. A player might be a member of an MLS team’s non-professional soccer academy. He can enjoy minutes with that academy without hampering his footballing status. These are the three methods by which a USL footballer can get himself paid.
Does USL have a salary cap?
MLS has the system of having a salary cap for the footballers along with other payment-related regulations. Unlike the MLS, the club owners of the USL are given more freedom and authority while assembling the squad and spending money on the players. Thus, there’s no salary cap for soccer players in the USL. Salaries aren’t circulated for the players and there’s no minimum salary range. Club owners don’t intend to spend cash on a vigorous scale as the profit turnover ratio is really poor.
The reason is very obvious. MLS teams have more affordability in case of paying the players’ higher wage range. MLS teams have more fan coverage and also the capacity than the USL sides. Just consider a very simple example. LA Galaxy home games can hold a capacity of more than 27,000 fans in their stadium while the whole match is sold out.
On contrary, Chicago FC United can afford only 500 t0 700 supporters. Accordingly, there’s a huge difference in ticket sales and profit generation between these two tournaments. Even though both the tournaments are televised, MLS draws more audience here. That’s another reason why the MLS earns greater revenues and has more paying abilities than the USL or other lower leagues.
Over the last decade, soccer has turned out to be one of the major sports in the USA, but still, it’s further from the top list. That’s a big reason why the yearly wage of soccer players in the USA is poorer compared to other sportspersons. Moreover, the USL is a minor league. Despite all such facts, the income of the USL is way better than other below-tire football leagues. So, the final verdict is- Yes, the USL players get paid!